While times have changed and more laws and tools are available today to help consumers make educated choices, there are still a ton of dealers that are notoriously known for doing what I call “shady business”.
To be clear, I am not saying dealers shouldn’t make money or shouldn’t be profitable. We are talking about ethics and being true on your word, something many people in the business of cars don’t do.
There are, however, good dealers in the business too, unfortunately for every good one, there are a dozen terrible ones out to prey on customers.
The concept of car buying has always been simple: manufacturers set pricing on new cars and dealers sell them at above or below those numbers. Those numbers only act as a guideline.
Prices these days are fluffed above and beyond what is considered normal so that a car is ultimately worth what someone is willing to pay for it at that very moment.
Here is an example of how bad business is conducted in the world of luxury and exotic cars and another reason I am so glad we established Exotic Car Hacks to help people.
This particular dealer is selling a Mercedes CL63 AMG he advertised on eBay as a clean Carfax car with no accidents and insists in four different places on his ad that the car has no paintwork whatsoever.
The car he has listed for mid $40s here was actually on eBay for $36K just 2 weeks prior and I had attempted to buy it as it was close to me in Florida.
I had negotiated, as you will see in the video, a price of $33K with the buyer who agreed to have car inspected at my cost (this is why you never skimp inspections).
He brought the car to a local running shop in Boca Raton that inspected the car. The car was mechanically much cleaner than expected for its age and its only issue was a sensor for the cruise control (a quick $800 fix), but the real issue laid in the paint condition of the car.
While the original seller also mentioned no paintwork or accident too, the reality was that the car had a cracked front bumper which had been repainted more than once in an attempt to disguise the cracks, but also had been repainted on the rear bumper, rear fender and passenger door leaving a lot of doubt that the car was perhaps sideswiped and repaired previously.
Worst part was that the repairs weren’t done well. An orange hue in the paint, tape marks at edges, and bubbles were found all over the painted areas. This was enough that even untrained eyes were able to clearly notice and confirm that many panels were indeed painted. This was bad which is why I refused to buy the car.
The owner had many stories that made no sense and so we parted ways which is why I was quite surprised when I saw this ad on eBay with multiple markings of no paint work.
Here is the reality I have learned after having owned over 60 exotics and dealt with many of the best and worst dealers in US.
The dealer buys cars sight unseen and there are times when they lose by buying the wrong cars, meaning cars that weren’t described as they were.
They take this risk because they believe in the upside of the profit. Its the risk of doing business. I have never met a dealer in my life who didn’t know what was wrong with cars on their lot as they are very much aware of whats wrong with the cars once they take possessions of them.
The dealer has their shady ways of dealing with problems by using side phrases when they speak with you.
For example: “Does car have paint work?”
Good Dealer: Yes or no, and willing to see this in writing.
Bad Dealer: Not to my knowledge or we inspect the car and didn’t see anything. Both of which mean YES, the car has paintwork, but I am too much of a pussy to tell you, so you’ll eat the loss rather than us.
Their ways of speaking goes back to a decade of stupidity ripping off people, which is why we always say “the key to buying a used car properly isn’t to pay the least, but to understand that no two cars are equal, and as you see here, neither are two dealers.“